School-Aged Children

Alright moms, I need some help! dog and neighbor boy problems.

Hi there! I don't normally post on this board as my LO is 11 months old. However I have a question regarding older children and was hoping you ladies could help. I live in an awesome neighborhood with tons of young families and kids. The kids run all over (we don't have a fenced in yard and they always run through our yard which I'm totally fine with). Well the one kid next door is a royal never disciplines him, he doesn't listen to any adults and is generally just annoying. He is about 4. I have a dog who is really a friendly animal but this kid and the one on the other side of me (also 4) torment the shi* out of her. They pull on her leash, throw things at her, run at her then run away which makes her try to chase them, and stand at the end of the yard yelling for her to come over knowing full well her leash won't get her to them. Recently they have also started knocking on my back door (I Have a patio so it's right at ground level) so that the dog will bark  to let us know there are people which consequently wakes up or scares the crap out of my DD. I told them that unless they need something they are not to knock at the door and explained that my dog's barking woke up or scared my daughter. The one little guy turned bright red and apologized, the other one (pain in the butt) flat out lied and said 'well we did need something.' ok smart a**. So they have stopped knocking but now will stand on the patio right outside the door until the dog spots them and barks then they laugh and run away.

Yesterday when I went outside the PITA kid said 'put your dog away, she is evil...yesterday when I was out here she tripped me.' I said 'no she didn't Nahla is a very nice dog.'

  I hate to yell and/or direct other people's children. My thought is that their parents should be keeping some sort of eye on them and making sure they are playing nicely(Although this one's mom will NEVER tell her son he is doing something wrong). How do you think I should handle this? I hate to make a big deal of it and go to their parents especially since the one boy's parents would feel so bad and I really don't think he is the issue, it's the other one leading the charge. But at the same time, with how they act around the dog, I feel as though I have to constantly watch her when she is outside so they leave her alone which is really freakin' irritating since it's my yard! I should be able to let my dog outside without worrying about her being harrassed! And I absolutely don't watn to get into the situation where she gets to a point that she bites one of them. She is a super tolerant dog but she is still an animal and I'm sure has a breaking point. At this point I would truly have a tough time punishing her if she did bite one of them just from what I've seen. My DH wants to get a fence but I have a hard time justifying spending thousands of dollars on a fence because of my neighbor's kid!

How would you handle it??

Re: Alright moms, I need some help! dog and neighbor boy problems.

  • JMayJMay member

    I hate to make waves too, but honestly, with all of that going on, I wouldn't hesitate.  Talk to the parents of both boys.  They will not be happy with you, of course, but they need to be given notification of the issue.  Anyone who lets their 4 year old run free in their neighborhood isn't likely to do much in the way of discipline though.  How irresponsible.

    After talking to the parents I'd give the issue one week.  If anything occurs, I would document the details - date, time, issue.  If possible, I'd take photographs or video.  Then I would speak to the parents a second time, and let them know that if they do not control their children, you will be forced to investigate legal/civil action.  I do not know what the issues in your area are, but in my neighborhood we have a community action committee to resolve property issues. If they can't help, I would go to the police station and ask what courses of action are available to you.  This might be something you could do prior to speaking with the families, so you are fully informed before going in.

    I agree with your DH though - a fence is ideal.  Yes, it's horrible that you would have to pay to get the fence when it's not really *your* issue. But at some point you might have to do what you have to do to keep your home your own. 

    Disclaimer: I've had lots of neighbor problems, so I may be jaded!


    "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

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  • 4Speedy4Speedy member
    If you do get a fence, make sure you let your homeowner's insurance know.  They may give you a discount because of it.  After a few years, you might even break even on the cost of the fence.
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  • Ugh.  What a drag!  I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

    I think you've got to do something rather sooner than later.  There's a chance that this child could provoke your dog into biting him, and then it won't matter what he has done in the past.  You'll be held responsible. 

    First, talk to the children directly.  Part of what's going on here is that they're curious about the dog and want to interact with her but don't know how to properly.  Tell them that what they are doing is teasing the dog and it's mean to her.  Explain that when dogs are teased, they will bite.  Don't bring up the fact that the knocking wakes up your DD, etc.  PITA four-year-olds are too young to empathize with you on this.  Keep it focused on their relationship with the dog and their safety.  If they continue to tease your dog, the dog could hurt them.  Since you don't want that to happen, they won't be allowed to play in your yard anymore if they keep teasing the dog.  Be very direct and clear with them.  

    However, let them know that you would like them to be friends with your dog, and that if you are outside with the dog, they are welcome to come in the yard.  You'll show them how to pet her and play with her in a way that will be fun for everyone. 

    Call or visit the parents and let them know what you've told the kids.  Keep it positive.  Explain that the kids want to interact with the dog but wind up provoking/teasing her.  You've talked to them about how to interact with the dog in a safe and positive manner, and you've let them know they are welcome to play with the dog while you're there to supervise but that if you're not outside, you'll ask them to stay out of your yard. 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • PurrBoxPurrBox member

    I think you should fence your yard. Dogs on chains do tend to have more aggression for reasons like this, and if she did bite one of the kids you'll probably have to put her to sleep and face a big lawsuit. Plus you'll like having a fence when your LO is a little older and you can let her play without as much worry about the rotten neighbor kids being mean to her or teaching her undesirable things.

    Yeah.  Get a fence.  It'll keep the kids out of the yard and possibly prevent a lawsuit.

    BabyFetus Ticker
  • I would just fence in the yard.  Plus then the dog can run around and have more freedom and most importantly it will keep the neighborhood kids out of your yard. 

  • I would get the fence - right now its them harassing your dog but in a few years it could be them harassing your kid!
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  • WahooWahoo member

    I would get the fence - right now its them harassing your dog but in a few years it could be them harassing your kid!


    I will also add - - I would not feel bad AT ALL about talking to the father of the kid "who is not that bad" when you think the other boy is the one instigating the problems.  As a parent I would want to know if the kids my child was hanging around were causing problems. 

    In fact, sometimes parents don't like one of their kids' friends and it would be the perfect excuse to say "sorry, you are causing problems when you are with Johnny, you can't play with him anymore!"

    I would also have no problem telling them they are not permitted in your yard period.  Not "unless you need something."  Never. WTH are they at your back porch?  Document their going into your yard and call the police.  Yes, your dog can bite them if he is provoked - but if they trip and fall and hurt themselves you would also have a lawsuit on your hands.

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • meo34meo34 member
    I think you may want to be more assertive with these boys and realize that that parents are not going to step up.  I side eye a parent who lets a four year old run around unsupervised regardless.  If it is anything like our neighborhood with lots of kids running around and playing then you have to speak up when it comes to your property.  I love that we have lots of kids around but whoever is on our property plays by my rules and I have sent kids home on numerous occasions for stepping out of line.  I would expect others to do the same with my son who is six if he was not behaving.  You need to speak up and if you don't want them in your backyard then tell them.  And I have done this to specific children if they cause issues.  I don't yelll or be mean but state that they have to leave because they did xyz.  I have never had to go to a parent or have a parent come to me because I did this.  If they don't listen after being told not to come on your property, etc then I would go to the parents.  You need to be assertive as this type of issue will only magnify as your daughter gets older and has friends playing in the yard.
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